Monday, December 08, 2008

The Usefulness of One-String Banjos

Theological One-String Banjos

Some of you who regularly read my blog may remember Tony Byrne's self-portrait. (I don't know where he got the photo; but it's good. I stole it from him -- with his tacit consent, of course.) If you want to see a larger version of the picture, click through to his blog and click on the picture there. (I said "self-portrait," but it's actually his view of how others view him. Follow?)

Tony and my other friend (who will remain unnamed here) have been personal friends of mine for quite some time -- approaching a decade now for one of them. Tony and I have had parallel journeys from high (if not hyper) Calvinism to a more moderate strain ... hopefully a strain more true to Calvin himself (and the scriptures, which is its main appeal and the greatest relief).

Tony has been condemned for his harping on one theme. Someone (who shall also remain nameless) recently asked whether Tony's work (and presumably those of us who are working with him -- I flatter myself) would amount to anything in ten years' time. He's a one-string banjo: unbalanced, myopic, obsessed, and lots of other bad things.

Well that sentiment is not universally held. In fact, the work has already borne fruit. Many of our acquaintances (and strangers too, who have become acquaintances) have switched (I'll refrain from saying "converted") from high or hyper Calvinism to more moderate views, many of them accepting some aspects of a universal atonement. Tony recently received a comment on his blog commending him for its "healing" nature.

As far as what the future will bring, who knows? But if God should permit it, Tony's work (along with the material at Calvin and Calvinism) will amount to a mountain that no one -- layman or scholar -- will be able to ignore.

I thank God for Flynn (shhh!) and Tony Byrne. I don't know where I'd be theologically without their invaluable work. It is a shining light for the kingdom and gospel of Jesus Christ. May God grant that it continue for many years to come.

And thank you Annie. :-)

P.S. Three strings?

If you're interested in what one can do with a three-string banjo ... er, guitar ... check this. Now this video, I approve of. :-)

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